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SynthSpa Public Message Allen Coppock
Old 8th May 2013
  #1
Gear Addict
 

SynthSpa Public Message Allen Coppock

Hey everyone it's Allen from the Synth Spa,

I felt like it was important for me to respond to some recent criticism, and to publicly take responsibility for being late with synth repairs. And I also wanted to let everyone know what's going on.

I love what I do. I'm not going anywhere. The last 4 years have been a wonderful time for the rebirth of analog synths! But the rebirth has caused many shops like mine to be extra busy and over worked. We've completed over 650 synths and circuit boards over the past 3 years. In fact I've been working 90 plus hours a week for three years strait and it's taken a toll on my mind and body. I've recently developed some serious stress related illnesses and only have half the energy I once used to have.

However! Things are improving. I've hired a very good NEW tech to help me get out from underneath the pile. And as a result the stress level is lowering as well. My energy is increasing. We are getting caught up.

Basically there are three reasons why the work has piled up. 1. We lost one of our great techs who needed to take a job in his family business, ( and trouble finding another ) 2. stress related illnesses that have slowed me down, and 3. growing to big too fast and biting off more than I could chew.
( my fault! ) I've also been told that we do 3 times the amount of work for the money as normal shops. This could be another reason as well.

I've tried to make it up to every single person I have been late with. I've given free add ons and everything I can think of. Free work in return for extra time.

I've also been spending time on a few items the Synth Community needs to keep several synths from going extinct. I'll have a big announcement in about 1-2 months if the development goes as planned. To those who have been understanding and have "helped me through" These are the people who will be EXTREMELY rewarded. You are in The Synth Spa book of life!

Well, I'm going to put more reasonable turn around times on everything we do. I've also taken full responsibility by limiting new orders and dedicating more time to finishing synths in the que, by quitting spring and summer outside-work activities. With all of the changes, we should be all caught up by Aug 1st. less than 3 months from now. I'm looking forward to when turn around times are back to there normal 4 week period.

Thanks for listening,

Allen Coppock

The Synth Spa
Old 4th December 2013
  #2
Gear Addict
 

New update

Hey Guys, it’s Allen from the SynthSpa. Well, I wish I was writing to you on more positive terms. But I need to communicate to all of you about what’s going on. First of all, I’m sorry for the amount of time it’s taken to get some of these boards back to you. I take full responsibility for this. EVERYONE WILL GET THEIR BOARD BACK.

In months past, I thought that if I just hired enough people, that this huge bubble of backlog would disappear quickly. The AUTOMATIC orders kept coming in and it was hard to stop the demand as inexpensively as we had offered these services. I recently moved our shop to Nashville. I invited 2 tech’s with me to train them and to get us caught up once and for all. I thought we’d be caught up in a month or two. That’s why I posted the new turn around times. One tech decided it wasn’t for him, got homesick and went back home, my last tech said just recently that he was having some personal health issues and won’t be coming back either.

SO, I’ve decided to stop this backlog once and for all and STOP TAKING CUSTOM SYNTH ORDERS FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES TO GET CAUGHT UP. I’ll continue to sell our off the shelf items like wave chips, wood, etc. and I’ll do ONLY module board repairs, which are a standardized process. I will also be selling some of my personal collection, a purple prophet 5 among others. Please check my Ebay page and see that I’m matching what I say here with actions. I don’t have anything listed that will take time away from focusing on backlogged synths. The website will soon follow as my developer becomes free.

I’m a synth player. I know what it’s like to not have your favorite board near. I feel the weight of this problem. I will treat everyone right because I am like you!

I’ll be open for orders again in the spring with a stronger and healthier footing. I don’t want to stop serving the synth community. I really still love everything we do. I’m glad we’ve created what we’ve created. Voice chips, wave chips, lighted benders, voice chips restorations, custom color faceplates, and restoration graphics for 6 synths. It’s been good.

But I said yes to too many custom projects and unique mods, which are very time consuming.

As I look to the future, I’ve learned how to say YES to only the things I can actually do in a timely manner.

Again, everyone will get their synth back.

I will make this right with everyone,

Thanks for listening.
Old 27th February 2014
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Juno 106 back from the spa!

Hey all you synth heads and Juno 106 fans...

Happy to report that after a long hiatus (11 months) my Roland Juno 106 has returned from the Synth Spa after a restoration project and it is sounding better than ever.

Allen and Co. have restored Juno 106 voice cards, new IEC power cable connector, new battery/battery mount, lighted bender, sliders and pots working smoothly, and the Juno is sounding fantastic! Already using it on a number of sequences that were begging for 106 voices.

Looking forward to hearing from others about their Jupiter 6 and Jupiter 8 experience that Synthspa has performed, as both my JP6 and JP8 need some TLC and restoration work as well.

Thank you Allen and Synth Spa crew!!!

Happy patching!

radicalone

Old 27th February 2014
  #4
Gear Head
 
mrfett's Avatar
wow that's great to hear! going on 1 year here. fingers crossed :-)
Old 27th February 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 
BenDayho's Avatar
@radicalone

Glad you've been reunited with your 106!


Does anyone have any insight as to whether one should do the synth spa restoration with the analog renaissance clones (sent to Allen with the 106) or is that overkill?
Old 28th February 2014
  #6
227861
Guest
Any tech that can repair synths can do the clone installation. The tech might tell you to order the clones ahead of time though.
Old 28th February 2014
  #7
Here for the gear
 

After a quick think about the notorious nature of the restored voice chips I opted to go with newly socketed synthspa voice chips. I imagine the AR chips will also make your 106 sing again.
Old 28th February 2014
  #8
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BenDayho's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
Any tech that can repair synths can do the clone installation. The tech might tell you to order the clones ahead of time though.
Well, I can do the AR install and calibration myself. However the full restore from synthspa is pretty enticing, but I couldn't afford it on top of buying AR chips which I would then send to synthspa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radicalone View Post
After a quick think about the notorious nature of the restored voice chips I opted to go with newly socketed synthspa voice chips. I imagine the AR chips will also make your 106 sing again.
I was under the impression that Synthspa restores your own chips. Is that what you meant by "newly socketed synthspa voice chips"

thanks
Old 28th February 2014
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Yeah they aren't new voice chips they are the ones in your board and he restores them.
If you want new ones installed you will need to order the AR chips and send them with. At
least last I checked.
Old 28th February 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Travst's Avatar
I received my JX-8P back from Allen recently. The wait was a bit long due to his backlog, but the synth is in great shape and sounds wonderful. He did a recap, put in a new headphone jack and cleaned and tuned the synth. Nice work and a very reasonable price.
Old 7th March 2014
  #11
Here for the gear
 

I just received my highly customized Juno 106 from Allen after a little more than a year of waiting.

The thing looks and sounds incredible. [got blue clear coat paint and a mix of red and blue LEDs]

Even though Allen was late he worked with me and let me choose which of my many custom mods I wanted right now, and which ones could wait till he was caught up. I chose some crucial mods now and saved a few cosmetic and wilder mods for later, in the interest of getting my synth back sooner.

He also offered me some extra free mods and future services to make up for the wait time.

When I talk to Allen I can see that he is another synth head who enjoys what he does, he just got a bit over his head.

I'm glad I stuck with him and am looking forward to seeing what comes outta the Synth Spa when he is on top of the pile.

So don't worry. Your synth is coming.
Old 26th March 2014
  #12
Here for the gear
 

I hope that's true. On February 7th, Allen said my board will be shipping out in two weeks. I emailed him on March 8th as I had yet to hear from him or see my board. I never got a response. I emailed him again two days ago, again no response.

I understand the situation and I have been patient. I have not got on his case in any emails. All I've ever asked for is an update or status. Each time I've gotten a pleasant response in a day or two.

What is bothering me now is that I have yet to get reply and the silence is worrying. I may give him a ring tomorrow and see whats up. But it makes me slightly less apprehensive that people in the last 2 weeks are still getting their boards.
Old 27th March 2014
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Allen finally got back to me. We're squared away. Hopefully should see my baby back in a few weeks.
Old 6th May 2014
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Any update to this thread? Can anyone upload pics of their restored juno?
Old 7th May 2014
  #15
Here for the gear
 

I've ordered a White Juno 106 and been waiting a while now.. Allen has let me do an extra custom mod die to the long wait time. Haven't heard from him for a while despite emailing him but I guess he has his head down. Really looking forward to seeing it now.
Will keep ya'll updated. And will def post some pics once i get it.
Old 10th May 2014
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Well, I have to share my experience with Synthspa as I'm infuriated with how I and others I work with were treated. I signed up just to do so.

I sent my 106 in almost a year before I received it back. I had to call on a near daily basis to even get ahold of them they're and I always was met with excuses.

One day it finally arrived out of nowhere and I was stoked as I inspected it before playing it, seeing that it had all new (not what I requested) SynthSpa custom 80017 ICs.

Upon closed inspection I realized that one of the cards was bent because the SS80017s are so tall they nearly hit to top of the keyboard and they had pinched a wire loom when it was closed up!!

I turn it on into test mode and its not tuned at all. I let it sit, it tuned to G-ish (specs are to B). Ok, well I can deal. The bent card didnt work and I had to have a tech fix it (broken pins!).

Turn it on and it vibrates (the transformer) and when the volume is at 75% YOU CAN HEAR THE VOICES ALL LEAKING! Not only do these appear to be ripoffs of the Analogue Renaissance chips made to be single-sided, they were apparently cloned incorrectly and they leak much louder than stock 80017s when the volume is up over half. Its usable, but in a studio I will have to cut the ringing out of my tracks during the quiet passages.

These are garbage. Im going to try to find some original 80017s or at least the AR ones. I know those work well.

I also have a friend that had a Polysix he sent in and when he got it back 18 MONTHS later, it had spraypaint all over the buttons, the last 6 keys didnt play in the lowest octave, AND IT DIDNT PLAY IN TUNE. He's still dealing with Kiwi to get it fixed as the board was apparently damaged during install. Alan had the same song and dance to him too. (Side note, Murray at Kiwi is AMAZINGLY nice and awesome!)

Since Kevin Lightner left the biz, we had to search for a new tech in LA. We found a great "new" tech named "Boomer" (formerly worked AT Roland too!) at a shop called LA Synth Co. Coincidentally, he showed us ANOTHER Synthspa polysix with similar issues and said this wasn't uncommon from the repairs he has encountered. Thankfully he took pity and fixed my snapped SS80017 and vibrating transformer for free, but couldn't fix the leaking audio (obviously). He suggested getting actual 80017s or the AR ones as he had good luck with them.

Bottom line - watch out for these guys. You could end up with a real mess. Look at their BBB rating!!! Its an F for a reason!!!
Old 21st May 2014
  #17
Here for the gear
 

STAY FAR AWAY!

As you might of guessed. I still do not have my synth back. You can see my post on Mar 27th saying that Allen got back to me finally. This is what he told me then :

"Training my new tech has taken more time than expected. However things are going a lot quicker now. I would say within another 10 days ."



After more than 5 weeks of no replies to my emails, I finally get this from him on May 12th:
Hey, I'm so sorry. The email app on my phone never showed me the new emails from you , only the last one I apologize.
Yeah it's been hard for me to keep up with the emails!
I am getting out normal Junos at about a rate of one a day.
I'm going to go ahead and put yours on a list to be out this week probably Thursday / Friday.



At this point, I'm tired of the all the excuses and wrote this email to him:

I just want a hard date. Since you said probably Thursday or Friday, let's commit and say you'll get this shipped out to me with fixes and calibrations completed by Monday 05/19? That's an extra 3 days from when you said it would probably be finished.

If that does not happen by then, I want the Juno returned to me in its original state with a refund. I don't want to wait on this any longer. So come next Monday I expect it to be shipped with all repairs and calibrations, or shipped in original condition with a refund. Either way, Monday is the cut-off date.

If you already know that it's not likely you're going to finish by then, by all means, return it to me now. No sense stalling any further. There will be no hard feelings. I just want my board back.



He never responded so the next day I asked him to acknowledge the email and the terms. He replied with "Read ya loud and clear. I'll get it done as you say."

So on Monday I ask him if he got the work done and what the shipping information was. Tuesday I ask again as he never replied. And here we are Wednesday with no response. At this point I do not believe he intends to return my property back to me. This is straight up theft at this point. I'm getting the word out and looking at filing small claims.

I've never heard so many different excuses from a business before. Apparently now he's telling people he has termite issues.

Do not do business with Allen Coppock or anyone affiliated with SynthSpa.
Old 22nd May 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Stevism's Avatar
i remember a thread where people tried to defend him...hilarious lol.

soooo glad i never sent anything their way.

thank you so much for the update. sorry to hear about your troubles
Old 22nd May 2014
  #19
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erdi's Avatar
 

Filch, did you call the local police?
Old 22nd May 2014
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by erdi View Post
Filch, did you call the local police?
Not yet. I'm still looking into what my options are and gathering all the correspondence, invoice, etc.
Old 22nd May 2014
  #21
Gear Maniac
I'm in the same boat as Filch. Allen has had my Juno 106 & $600 for over a year. At this point, I'm done. I've asked for my synth back by the end of the month in working condition (it was sent to him fully working with just a noisier than usual chorus) and a refund for work not yet completed.

When I reached him on the phone last week he told me that it would be done.

5/22 update: I was able to reach Allen by phone today and he confirmed that my Juno is on the bench and that it will be posted by Tuesday. Will update again when I have it back.
Old 28th May 2014
  #22
Here for the gear
 

I wanted to jump in here.

I realize some of you have had your boards out a while, but Allen is not a thief or anything of the sort. I purchased a full board restore from him 3 months ago. He did initially tell me about 2 months, and time did drag, BUT I stayed on him. I called him multiple times, and followed up with numerous emails.

I did experience some aggravation at the delays, but the point here is I did receive my Juno 106 yesterday. Allen probably took on more than he could handle, and admitted that he was late with everyone, BUT, and I want to stress this, my Juno is perfect, and sings like a dream. Zero problems.

The lesson here is to just stay on top of him, and if your contemplating buying from him, remember that his wait times can be longer than he estimates, but the finished product is well worth the wait.

Last edited by xminus1; 28th May 2014 at 08:19 PM.. Reason: it was 3, not 4 months ago that i ordered the restore
Old 28th May 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
 

2 years ago i sent in my roland mks board for chip restauration (removing the coating, etc..) and after 2 months everything came back working and sounding perfectly. Europe to USA and back.

Allen apologized unquestioned for the time it took and made me an absolutely bargain price.

this has been my experience with the synth spa.
Old 22nd June 2014
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Chris G's Avatar
 

I have politely reached out to Allen many times and can not get my money back. I ordered the board restore, problems started with the FedEx label he sent wouldn't work and kept giving me an error stating the user account has a problem. I spoke to him on the phone after 2 emails and he says he was doing the FedEx that day and to look out for it. Never saw it. Sent him an email asking for my money back. He did respond explaining some health issues and such and said would refund the money. It has been over 2 weeks and 2 more emails and no refund.

This sucks. I need the Juno working and the $$ I allotted to repair is tied up now in Synthspa's account.

Haven't decided how to handle this yet from here.
Old 22nd June 2014
  #25
Gear Addict
 
Chris G's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris G View Post
I have politely reached out to Allen many times and can not get my money back. I ordered the board restore, problems started with the FedEx label he sent wouldn't work and kept giving me an error stating the user account has a problem. I spoke to him on the phone after 2 emails and he says he was doing the FedEx that day and to look out for it. Never saw it. Sent him an email asking for my money back. He did respond explaining some health issues and such and said would refund the money. It has been over 2 weeks and 2 more emails and no refund.

This sucks. I need the Juno working and the $$ I allotted to repair is tied up now in Synthspa's account.

Haven't decided how to handle this yet from here.
I will update when I get a favorable response.
Old 22nd June 2014
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

I need to add to the "Allen is an honest guy" count.

I bought a fully resotred Jupiter 6, it took longer than promised, but I got it and it was exactly as promised.

I know it can be frsutrating when you are dealing with a one-man shop (or few employees), but we also have to cut some slack that these type of businesses are the ONLY ones serving our vintage synth niche market... if they go, we are screwed.

Allen @ Synth Spa are honest.

-Andrews
Old 22nd June 2014
  #27
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ionian's Avatar
Chris G - Maybe try calling the police precinct in his neighborhood and report that he is in possession of your stolen goods? Tell them that he took your board and your money and has cut off all communication with you. At the very least file some kind of complaint or something with his local precinct so that there's a record of what he's doing.
Old 29th July 2014
  #28
Gear Addict
 
Chris G's Avatar
 

So I have emailed him many many times and its almost as if he may be so unorganized that he simply looses track of business issues.

He did respond once asking me for the email to send the paypal refund to, and oddly enough, i was emailing him from that account. I quickly gave him the information again. Nothing from him since.

I did not ship the board, as that was the first issue I encountered with him. The Fedex account he was using was not working. He provides a Fedex shipping label and you ship. Part of his service included the shipping to and from. 2 times and it would not work and he says his service was now 2 months waiting while his current listing Ebay states 2 weeks. It is still up there today I believe.

I don't care about explanations or apologies or excuses. I want my money back. I already donate to charity and Church on my own, and I'm not inclined to donate to Allen's charity being disguised as a business.
Old 17th August 2014
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Hey all,

I too signed up just to post here. I wish I had found this thread before I sent off my Juno. Same experiences as reported. Two month estimate, I'm now coming up on month six. Which is unfortunate as I was waiting on this repair to start a new project. Numerous emails from Allen saying "two weeks", "should be ready in a month", "Getting a list together for timetables". Mostly stuff that's been reported here. I'm trying to keep the faith here, but with the six month mark approaching I'm getting pretty nervous. My Juno is one of my main pieces of gear and I'm worried it's not coming back. I'm a patient guy. I'd patiently wait another month just as long as he could keep the date. The fuzzy timetable just seems endless at this point and I definitely cannot wait a YEAR like some people have. Are there any positive experiences out there regarding restore and repair work? I need a little pick me up.

***EDIT***

I thought it would be fair to update my post. A month and a half after my initial post here, Allen shipped my Juno106. I have to say, the work done is immaculate. It sounds and looks perfect. So I think it's safe to say that Allen is a craftsman, but could do much better on organizing his clients and time. Six and a half months on a 30-60 day estimate is far too long. Would I do it again? Unsure. for $200 dollars more I could have gotten this work done locally and saved my frustrations and time. Hard to call it.

Last edited by Teacworms; 15th September 2014 at 04:13 PM.. Reason: Recieved my gear.
Old 21st August 2014
  #30
Here for the gear
 

3 Junos, 10 months, still waiting

Well, I sent him 3 Junos(2 of mine, 1 friends) late Sept 2013.
All for color modification.....I'm still waiting....I have emailed him and called him every time he passes his date. This last time he said he has got a new tech that should help him get back on track. I am trying to keep faith, but it gets difficult...He told me last time(about 3 weeks ago) that the place he gets the lexan panels from were waiting on a 3M adhesive. Unfortunately I have to go out of the country for 2 weeks so I'll be contacting him again when I get back. Hopefully I will have pictures before the end of September???
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